TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The state has dropped plans to vaccinate
fire, police, and other emergency personnel against smallpox,
citing health concerns and questions about whether the voluntary
program is still needed.
The first phase of the program, in which public health and
hospital workers and some state police were vaccinated, was
completed last winter, and some emergency services personnel were
vaccinated when the program resumed this summer. However, only 671
volunteers took part, far less than the 1,000 who were expected to
Meanwhile, a federal advisory panel recently recommended against
continued public vaccinations, citing unexpected side-effects in a
few cases, such as heart attacks. Federal health officials said
that for every million people who receive the vaccine, between 14
and 52 experience potentially life-threatening reactions, and one
or two die.
Clifton R. Lacy, the state's commissioner of health and senior
services, said New Jersey is ready for a smallpox emergency, and
halting the program is more a shift of focus, not a matter of
having second thoughts. He said there were nine reports of "minor
adverse events" among those initially vaccinated, but no one was
"We don't hear a clamor for widespread vaccination of the
general population, and that's wise," Lacy told The Record of
Bergen County for Tuesday's editions. "In the absence of confirmed
smallpox disease anywhere in the world, the risk of vaccination to
the general public outweighs the benefit."
The decision drew some criticism from those who wanted it to
continue, but Lacy said the state has enough volunteers for now.
Lacy said the vaccinated volunteers have been divided into
public health and hospital response teams. The public health teams
- which include infectious disease experts - will investigate,
assess and treat any suspected case of smallpox, while the hospital
teams would stand by to handle larger emergencies.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
View Poll Results: Would you get a Smallpox vaccination, if they were offered at your location?
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Thread: No Small Pox
08-19-2003, 05:14 AM #1
No Small PoxProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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08-19-2003, 10:08 AM #2
I haven't decided whether I would get a shot or not, but I am leaning towards no shot.
Too many risks for something that might not be needed.IACOJ Agitator
Fightin' Da Man Since '78!
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